AECT Leadership Development Internship Program - Association for Educational Communications and Technology

AECT Leadership Development Internship Program Logo


Earl F. Strohbehn

Lucas Vasconcelos, University of Georgia

Lee W. Cochran

Sean Jackson, Mason County High School
Lin Zhong, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Jenny K. Johnson

Miaoting "Cat" Cheng, University of Hong Kong


Earl F. Strohbehn

In 1978, Earl F. Strohbehn, then a professor of education at San Jose State University, established a trust fund through the AECT Foundation to help support a deserving graduate student's attendance at the leadership conference. His mentor and friend, Lee Cochran inspired the leadership conference to develop leaders in the educational communications and technology field. Earl F. Strohbehn started his professional responsibilities in the audiovisual field in Iowa in 1945 as Director of Audiovisual Services in the Cedar Falls Public Schools. It was his wish that in the event that the leadership conference was discontinued, his donation would be used to support graduate students in the field in the manner deemed best; hence, the current internship funding at the AECT international convention.

Lee W. Cochran

Lee W. Cochran began earning his living by rewinding films in the Visual Services department of the University of Iowa in 1923. Forty-six years later, he retired as Director of the Audiovisual Center. During World War II, he was one of a small group of pioneer educators who, serving in the Training Aids Divisions of the Armed Forces, proved that films and other visual materials could teach essential procedures more effectively and efficiently than the traditional lecture method. Lee was responsible for the organization of the Audiovisual Education Association of Iowa (AVEAI) and as a member of DAVI, he traveled with a team nation-wide assisting school systems in establishing self-evaluation guidelines for development of audiovisual resources and services. He served as President of DAVI from 1955-56 and during that time organized the Educational Media Leadership Conferences at Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Annual reports from the conference were examined and studied by educators in many fields throughout the nation.

Not only was Lee dedicated to education and the utilization of audiovisual methods, he also served as a mentor and advisor for the generation of educators who followed him. The Lee W. Cochran estate provides funding, through the AECT Foundation, for the AECT Conference Internship Program. This internship is awarded to graduate students or new professionals in the field.

Jenny K. Johnson

In late September 2011, Jenny Johnson was recognized by the AECT Board Members and International Division leaders for her many years of dedicated service and loyalty to the organization and especially to the International Division. Jenny spent many years as faculty at University of Maryland University College, traveling the globe (many times on Fulbright Scholarship), and being responsible for the AECT’s directory for “Degree Curricula in Educational Communications and Technology”. The Jenny Johnson International Intern Scholarship will be awarded to an international student studying in any country including the U.S. or faculty member in the first three years of faculty appointment in any country including the U.S. The candidate needs to be a non-U.S. citizen.

The Jenny Johnson Intern Scholarship recognizes a candidate’s involvement in the educational communications and technology field in an international context and is awarded on a biennial basis. To apply for the Jenny Johnson International Internship, please complete the online application form which can be found on the AECT Leadership Development Internship web page below.
NOTE: Jenny Johnson Intern Scholarship is awarded on a biennial basis.


The AECT Leadership Internship Program is designed to identify individuals with significant potential to provide future leadership for AECT and in the broader field. The program is open to current graduate students and new professionals in K-20 education and industry. The application process places a heavy emphasis on past and current leadership experiences with a specific focus on personal goals for growth within AECT and the professional field.

The AECT Leadership Internship Coordinator, in conjunction with the Leadership Development Committee of AECT oversees the leadership develpment intern programs in cooperation with the AECT Awards Committee and the AECT Foundation. It strives to enhance the involvement of graduate students and new professionals in AECT. The committee studies and recommends to the AECT Board of Directors new leadership development strategies that are designed to meet the changing needs of the Association, the members, and the field.

Interns are expected to participate fully in a coordinated program of activities, including a leadership development session, exclusive events with leaders from the association and the field, and selected association governance events. In addition, Interns will perform hands-on tasks, assisting association and foundation leadership during the first timer’s session, general sessions, and the membership meeting that provide a behind-the-scenes view of convention operations. As a follow-up to the convention experience, each intern will participate as a member of the AECT Leadership Development Committee during the year leading up to and including the 2019 convention.

All interns receive complimentary convention registration, hotel lodging, and a cash award. In addition to serving on the AECT Leadership Development Committee during the year following their internship, the selected intern class will work together on a group project that may be presented at the next AECT Annual Convention. The intern class project is designed upon the premise of addressing an organizational need within the association.  Interns are encouraged to request financial support for transportation and meal/incidental expenses from their institutions or state affiliate organizations.

All 2018 interns will be expected to arrive at the convention, which will be held in Kansas City, Missouri at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, by Sunday afternoon, October 21, 2018 and to stay until Saturday 12:00 PM, October 27, 2018.


The online application form will open at 12:01am EDT on Monday, April 2, 2018 and close at 11:59pm EDT on Monday, June 4, 2018. All application materials, including sponsor letter, must be submitted by the deadline date. Applications will be considered complete when the applicant packet consists of a completed online application form, resume/CV file (pdf), and an AECT member sponsor letter.

Intern Mentoring

After evaluating each Intern’s personal experience and professional development goals, the Leadership Development Committee will match the intern with a current AECT leader. The leaders will serve as a mentor, identifying organizational and professional activities in which to involve the Intern over the course of the next year. Activities include, but are not limited to, division, affiliate, committee, and/or executive meetings, annual convention planning, and scholarly endeavors. Each experience will vary by mentor. This mentoring is intended to deepen the experience and provide further leadership development.


Applicants for the Leadership Internship Program must be either a current graduate student OR a new professional in the field. Students can be enrolled either full or part time in an accredited university program related to the field, and must remain in good academic standing throughout the 2018-2019 academic year. New professionals must be within the first three years of beginning their career.

Applicants who are not already members of AECT may join prior to submitting his or her application. However, strong applicants will have attended at least one AECT convention and have already begun seeking leadership roles within AECT.

Upon submitting an application, individual eligibility for either the Strohbehn or Cochran Internships will be determined by the Internship Selection Committee. You do not need to submit two applications.


The AECT Leadership Internship Program is designed to encourage and identify future leadership in AECT. As an AECT member, you may recognize these leadership attributes in a graduate student or early professional and are encouraged to sponsor one (1) applicant for the program each year.

If you would like to sponsor an applicant, please provide them with your contact information to enter into the application. If you have been asked to sponsor an applicant, please wait for the application system to notify you with the instructions on how to submit a sponsorship letter.

You must be a current member of AECT in order to sponsor an applicant, and your letter should address the following questions:

  • How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity?

  • Why do you think this applicant has strong leadership potential within AECT?

  • How would AECT benefit in the future from having this person go through the Leadership Internship Program?

*Note that applicants are only allowed one sponsor and, therefore, one sponsorship letter. If an institution or organization wishes to collectively sponsor an applicant, the letter should originate from a current AECT member and indicate the support within the letter.

Application Questions

The following questions must be answered in the online application in order for your submission to be processed for consideration. You may want to draft your responses prior to entering the online application form. Each response should consist of 300-500 words and provide specific examples when applicable.

  1. Describe how you have been active in AECT thus far. What leadership roles have you held?

  2. What are your future career goals and professional aspirations?

  3. What is your leadership experience outside of AECT? Please provide specific examples.

  4. If selected, what do you hope to learn or achieve through the leadership internship experience?

  5. AECT Leadership Interns are expected to play a role in future AECT leadership activities. If selected, how would you be willing to commit to playing such a role? Where do you see yourself in future AECT leadership activities?

Evaluation Criteria

Service in a variety of activities

Exemplary: Applicant details involvement in a wide variety of activities both in university and/or professional organizations.
Average: Applicant details involvement in a few different activities in university and/or professional organizations.
Needs Development: Applicant does not explain any involvement in service activities.

Evidence of commitment to AECT and its programs

Exemplary: Applicant names divisions, committees, and/or programs in which he or she has been and will continue to be active.
Average: Applicant names divisions, committees, and/or programs in which he or she will become active.
Needs Development: Applicant does not identify ways in which he or she could support AECT.

Emerging leadership in the field and AECT

Exemplary: Applicant provides specific details for leadership plans within the field/AECT.
Average: Applicant expresses an interest in seeking leadership in the field/AECT.
Needs Development: Applicant does not address future leadership goals or plans.


Exemplary: Applicant demonstrates high levels of professionalism through their application and vita.
Average: Applicant demonstrates some professionalism through either their application or their vita.
Needs Development: Applicant demonstrates little or no professionalism through their application or vita.

Goals and interests aligned with internship program objectives

Exemplary: Applicant expresses a desire to grow professionally and contribute to the future of AECT.
Average: Applicant expresses a desire to grow professionally.
Needs Development: Applicant fails to mention a desire to grow professionally or contribute to the future of AECT.

Candidate statements

Exemplary: Applicant’s statements are clear, organized, and explain specific reasons for being named an intern.
Average: Applicant’s statements list reasons for being named an intern, but provide very little detail.
Needs Development: Applicant’s statements are disorganized or do not explain reasons to be named an intern.

Vita strength

Exemplary: Vita reinforces leadership experiences described in application and includes other leadership and service activities.
Average: Vita reinforces leadership experiences described in application, but no other leadership or service activities are listed.
Needs Development: No vita provided or no leadership experience exhibited on vita.

Sponsor letter - strength

Exemplary: Letter contains specific details regarding applicant’s leadership potential and benefit of the program to the applicant.
Average: Letter is nonspecific regarding applicant’s leadership potential or benefit of the program to the applicant.
Needs Development: Letter contains reservations regarding applicant’s leadership potential or benefit of the program to the applicant.

Sponsor letter – AECT commitment

Exemplary: Letter identifies specific ways in which applicant will contribute to AECT in the future.
Average: Letter is non-specific of how the applicant could contribute to AECT.
Needs Development: Letter does not reference how the applicant could contribute to AECT.


The AECT Leadership Development Committee is partnering with the Graduate Student Assembly to provide webinars for potential AECT Intern Candidates. Webinars will range in length from 30-60 minutes and be hosted on several days throughout the month of March. The purpose of the webinars is to provide accurate information to interested, potential intern candidates while also providing a platform through which past AECT Interns may reflect upon and share their experiences. AECT Interns will highlight their unique experiences as an AECT Intern and share several aspects of their internship experience. The session will proceed similar to a panel discussion and will include questions from a pre-submitted list as well as live questions from the audience.

Join us for special edition webinars with AECT Interns!  2018 Intern Informational Webinars


A former intern, who is now a member of the AECT Leadership Development Committee, serves as the Leadership Internship Program Coordinator. All application materials should be submitted via the online application form linked on the AECT Leadership Development Internship page. Other correspondence concerning the Leadership Internship Program can be directed to the Leadership Internship Program Coordinator, Megan C. Murtaugh, at 239-560-8301 or aect-intern-chair@aect.org.

Strohbehn & Cochran Leadership Development Internship Application

The Strohbehn Internship will be awarded to a graduate student who displays exemplary leadership potential and dedication to AECT and the field. The Cochran Internship will be awarded to graduate students and/or new professionals who display outstanding leadership potential and dedication to AECT and the field. 

Applications for the 2018 Strohbehn & Cochran AECT Leadership Development Internships are now closed. Please check back in April 2019 to submit your application for the 2019 Strohbehn & Cochran AECT Leadership Development Internships.



  • AECT membership upon application and a member of the International Division;

  • a non-US citizen graduate student or a non-US citizen faculty member in the first three years of faculty appointment.


  • studying, teaching, or practicing in the field of educational communications and technology;

  • involvement in international activities (or projects in international context) with strong preference in leadership roles;

  • submission of an essay;

  • submission of two letters of recommendation.

Required Application Documents

Please provide an essay of why you should be considered for this intern scholarship. The essay should not be more than 1,000 words and should be in English. The essay should support why you are qualified for this intern scholarship. Additional required information your application must include:
interest in the Internship Award;

  • interest in the Internship Award;

  • Interest in AECT:

  • international experiences related to educational communications and technology;

  • research and publications (optional for student applicants, but required for faculty applicants);

  • professional memberships (optional for student applicants, but required for faculty applicants).

Two letters of recommendation from persons who are familiar with your personal and professional qualities are required. Upon submission of this application an email requesting a reference will be sent on your behalf to the references provided. Applicants will have to list the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of those individuals who have agreed to prepare the letters of recommendation on your behalf.

Applicants should keep in touch with the references to make sure that the references receive the request from AECT. If they did not receive it, applicants should contact the International Division at intlaect@gmail.com. Applicants also need to remind their references to submit the letters of recommendation on time. It is not the responsibility of AECT nor the International Division to keep track on the progress of the submissions of the letters of recommendation.

Electronic submission of all application materials is required. All required materials, including the letters of recommendation must be submitted online and received no later than 11:59PM EDT on June 4, 2018. 


Jenny Johnson International Internship Application

The Jenny Johnson International Internship will be awarded to a non-U.S. citizen graduate student or a non-U.S. citizen faculty member in the first three years of faculty appointment who is studying, teaching, or practicing in the field of educational communications and technology; and demonstrates involvement in international activities (or projects in international context) with strong preference in leadership roles. The Jenny Johnson International Internship is awarded on a biennial basis.

This internship is offered every two years. Please check back for the 2020 AECT Jenny Johnson Internship application. 

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